7 November 2019

Mayoral Column

Australian Food Safety Week 2019 will be held from 9 to 16 November 2019, so it is timely to consider something that really matters when it comes to food safety - handwashing.

The Food Safety Information Council has released findings that more than 20% of Australians admit that they don’t always wash their hand after going to the toilet. The public health risk could be even greater, as nearly 40% of respondents also admitted that they don’t always wash their hands before touching food.

The research shows young people are less likely than older age groups to always wash their hands after going to the toilet (69% under 34 years versus 86% over 50 years) and before touching food (59% under 34 versus 63% over 50). Men are also less likely than women to always wash their hands after going to the toilet.

This behaviour could be contributing to the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning each year not to mention spreading viral infections such as cold, influenza and norovirus.

Let’s all work together to share this important message about good handwashing to help keeping our community healthy. Always wash and dry your hands before handling, preparing and eating food; after touching raw meat, fish, shell eggs or poultry; after using the toilet, attending to children’s (or others) toileting and  after nappy changes, blowing your nose, touching a pet and gardening.

Council has created some handwashing stickers that are available free to businesses, schools and community members at the front counter at Council’s Administration Building, 300 George Street, Windsor. An instructional handwashing video and posters can also be found here: https://foodsafety.asn.au/hand-washing-package

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